Yesterday, I spent a couple hours with a second-grade class in Los Angeles. The children asked me, “Why are big game hunters driving African lions to extinction?”
I explained that certain affluent people crave power and exert their brutality by slaughtering defenseless animals. The children could not understand this shameful ecocide.
Humans have wiped-out 58 percent of all land animals on Earth in less than half a century. Since the 1970s, 1.5 billion birds are gone from North America. Over 230 million seabirds, or 70 percent, have vanished in the past six decades. From 2000-10, approximately one billion sharks were poached from all oceans.
Children are perplexed. Greedy, selfish adults, driven by power and an insatiable lust for destruction, are causing the Sixth Great Extinction at a record pace.
The looting of the oceans is so egregious that my colleagues from Stanford and elsewhere found that humans are killing off great white sharks, fin whales and bluefin tunas like never before compared to the previous five mass extinctions.
There’s nothing like this in any fossil records. In the past, smaller oceanic species were lost — not all bigger ones.
The present Sixth Great Extinction is decimating everything in the oceans. My colleagues predict it will take millions of years for the oceans to recover the rich array of biodiversity that currently exists on the planet.
This is an ecological disaster of epic proportion never experienced since the dawn of sexually reproduced organisms 1.1 billion years ago.
Extinction means forever — unacceptable. If we fail to take swift action, the human race will perish quickly, too.
A San Diego-based group of concerned citizens are fighting the Sixth Great Extinction.
According to a Zulu legend, deep in the African wilderness walks the most persistent animal on our planet — the Shongolulu. Shongolulu is on an 18 million-year journey. What appears like a simple pair of feet is actually a million feet. Those feet are marching together with the ultimate goal of creating coexistence between humans and all animals.
The Shongolulu is a symbol for the strength in numbers — the power of one. It is living proof that even the smallest animals can have the biggest impact.
With millions of feet, the Shongolulu is not the fastest, but it never gives up on its dream, one step at a time.
Join the movement; together we march to save nature now.
Earth Doctor Reese Halter’s upcoming book is “SaveNatureNow.”